Crunch Report | Theranos Closes Its Last Lab

A YouTube messaging feature launches in Canada, Theranos closes its last lab in Scottsdale, Arizona, DoorDash and Postmates start using Starship robotics to test robot delivery and Google buys Fabric dev platform. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

Microsoft rolls out preview of plugin-free Skype for Web support in Edge

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Microsoft today launched a preview of plugin-free Skype calls in Microsoft Edge. The new functionality works anywhere you can use Skype in the browser: Skype for Web, Outlook.com, Office Online, and OneDrive. Both voice and video calls are supported, including one-to-one and group sessions.

This is possible because Edge last year gained support for the Object Real-Time Communications (ORTC) API. Since at least October 2014, Microsoft was planning to bring voice and video calling to its browser without the need for plugins. Originally, that meant in Internet Explorer, but after Edge launched, it made sense to go with the new browser.

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Squarespace now sells you domain names directly so you can sidestep GoDaddy

Squarespace

Website builder Squarespace is adding an extra string to its bow today with the launch of Squarespace Domains, a service that helps users procure more than 200 top-level domain (TLD) names from $20 to $70 a year.

Founded in 2004, Squarespace has built a solid reputation in the creative realm, with a DIY platform for building and hosting websites, alongside a content-management system (CMS) for bloggers. And from today, anyone can search for their preferred domain across a multitdue of TLDs, including .academy, .camera, .pizza, .plumbing, and more.

Squarespace is also touting WHOIS Privacy as a free addon to subscribers — this means that when you register a domain name, your personal details will automatically be hidden in the WHOIS public database, something which GoDaddy and other providers charge for. Other “perks” include a “beautiful ad-free parking page,” and it will soon offer SSL certificates and free domain-name transfers.

Microsoft releases new Windows 10 Mobile preview with Cortana, Edge, and lock screen improvements

Windows 10

Microsoft released a new Windows 10 Mobile preview today. The latest build includes improvements to the Action Center, notifications, Cortana, Settings, emoji, Edge, and the Lock screen.

Like the last mobile build, this one is only available for devices that shipped with Windows 10 Mobile (the Lumia 950, 950 XL, 650, 550, Xiaomi Mi4, and Alcatel OneTouch Fierce XL) and select Windows Phone 8.1 devices that have been upgraded. The only exception is the Lumia 635, which Microsoft plans to add at a later date. Microsoft naturally has no plans to offer new preview builds to other devices.

First up, individual app notifications in the Action Center no longer show the app icon repeated for each notification, while more Cortana notifications have been added. You can also now add, remove, and re-arrange the Quick Actions that show up in Action Center. Notifications in the Action Center now also have

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Facebook just validated the bot movement for businesses

David Marcus F8 2016

The battle for our attention has once again shifted to a new technological plane within the mobile space. The industry now is starting to turn its attention away from apps and instead focusing on a new interface to drive “conversational commerce,” a concept first named by social designer Chris Messina. It’s centered around “delivering convenience, personalization, and decision support while people are on the go, with only partial attention to spare,” Messina wrote.

Already there are quite a few services lined up to capitalize on this opportunity, including Path’s Talk, Kik, Telegram, Skype, WeChat, and Line. However, nobody appeared to be a market leader — at least until Facebook entered the scene.

At this year’s F8 developer conference, the social networking company announced it was investing more into the messaging platform it launched in 2014. This means we’ll start to see more businesses using Facebook Messenger to communicate with their customers

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Screenshots of the experience businesses have on Sonar.
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I bought an Apple keyboard from 1990 just for my iPad Pro

Apple Extended Keyboard II and 9.7-inch iPad Pro.

The new 9.7-inch iPad Pro is a very nice tablet. With features like Split View and the optional $99 Apple Pencil, you can actually get a lot done with it. But if you like to stretch out when you type, you might not be a big fan of the optional $149 Smart Keyboard that Apple designed to pair with the tablet. It’s a little cramped.

Fortunately, you can use the tablet with other keyboards. For instance, Logitech’s K380 Bluetooth keyboard works fine. But if you want to have a truly impressive typing experience, you really ought to consider a real keyboard. Something like, say, the Apple Extended Keyboard II. From 1990.

I’m typing on it now. It’s amazing. The loud “pop-pip” sound of the keys. The very impressive travel of the keys — around 2.5 mm. The satisfying feeling of the keys being actuated, which has to do

All I want to do is type.
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Microsoft releases Visual Studio Code 1.0 as the code editor passes 500,000 monthly active users

Visual Studio Code.

Microsoft today is announcing the release of version 1.0 of its open-source Visual Studio Code text editor. The cross-platform application now has more than 500,000 monthly active users, after launching last year.

More than 1,000 extensions have become available for Visual Studio Code since Microsoft introduced extensibility in November, when it became available on GitHub under an open-source MIT license. The community has closed more than 300 pull requests with an eye toward improving the software.

“We feel like we have a good, stable ecosystem that lets us kind of declare GA [general availability],” Microsoft Visual Studio engineering leader Shanku Niyogi told VentureBeat in an interview. In reality the new features have been available to people participating in the Insiders Program for weeks, but now the beta sticker is going away.

Of course, Visual Studio Code isn’t the only text editor. There’s GitHub’s Atom, which has more than 1

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